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This is a 300ish layer "Pool and Eye" Damascus chef's knife I made last week for my own use. It's the first chef's knife I have done.

I think it looks kind of washed out, like it needs a lower layer count to pop. Thoughts?

Materials are 1080 & 15N20 with a paper micarta handle. Etched twice in ferric chloride and once in black coffee. It features a (poorly executed) San Mai using an extra layer of 1080 to make up for my miscalculating the material removed in patterning.

20200509_084551.jpg

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Jacob Cashion said:

Thoughts?

Hi Jacob.  Nice looking knife.  Well done.

 

Regarding your question... IMO, most patterns start to lose their 'pop' when you get up to 250-ish  layers or more. 

 

I'm also curious about the details of your etching.  You said that you etched 2 cycles, but how long for each?  Did you let the etch 'set" before cleaning?  

 

What I do (I was taught by Dave Lisch, MS but I may have modified his instructions over the years) is etch my blades 3 times for 20 min, cleaning off the blade with 0000 steel wool in water after the first 2 cycles.  After the 3rd etch, I then dunk my blade in boiling water with baking soda for minute or so.  Then I let the blade air dry for a while (30 min to overnight) before cleaning off the oxides with 5000g paper wrapped around a rigid sanding stick.  I've found that with my concentration of FeCl, it takes 3 cycles to etch deep enough to give enough topography so that you are cleaning only the 15N20 with the paper.

 

Edited by billyO
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Billyo's got a good method i tend to to two etch cycles myself and card back the oxides with steel wool as well. I tend to use a 3.5 to one ratio of water to acid when diluting most people say between 3 and 4. I do like the instant coffee soak for darkening the low spots though.

 

I have been finding windex works pretty well at neutralizing the acid as well I'm pretty sure I read that here. I've been trying it with good success ymmv.

 

 

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24 minutes ago, Will Urban said:

 

I have been finding windex works pretty well at neutralizing the acid

Yes, I use this at times as well.  Windex is ammonia and any base will work to neutralize the acid

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Posted (edited)

On this blade I did two 14 minute immersions in 3:1 water:ferric chloride, neutralized in a saturated solution of baking soda and rinsed under the faucet between the two etches. The blade was at 2000 grit mirror finish when it went into the etch. After the second time in the ferric, I lightly hand polished with 2000 grit polishing paper, wiped with isopropyl alcohol, and let it soak in black coffee (this was my first coffee etch, and as a non-coffee drinker I don't know the difference between regular and instant) for 4 hours. Then neutralized in baking soda solution and rinsed in the sink.

 

Generally I do two or three (depending on depth I want) 15-20 minute cycles before neutralizing and polishing.

 

I never heard of leaving it to air dry overnight, I'll have to try that. 

Edited by Jacob Cashion
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The benefit to Instant is it devolves really easily and you can get it much stronger that way in solution for an etch or soak. Regular coffee isn't quite as potent for metal. 

 

But for most circumstances instant coffee is the worst caffeine swill there is to drink.

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9 hours ago, Jacob Cashion said:

I never heard of leaving it to air dry overnight, I'll have to try that. 

I'm not sure that's worth the effort.  I haven't noticed any difference in 30 min vs overnight....It's just what I was taught.  

 

 

Now that I think about it, Dave may have said the same thing....

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On 5/13/2020 at 12:28 PM, Will Urban said:

But for most circumstances instant coffee is the worst caffeine swill there is to drink.

 

Does anyone else feel a bit self-conscious when they buy instant coffee?  I usually don't care what people think about me in public, but when I buy this I always feel like holding it over my head and shouting, "I'm a blade smith and use this for etching steel.  There is no way I would drink this crap".

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2 hours ago, Brian Dougherty said:

 

Does anyone else feel a bit self-conscious when they buy instant coffee?  I usually don't care what people think about me in public, but when I buy this I always feel like holding it over my head and shouting, "I'm a blade smith and use this for etching steel.  There is no way I would drink this crap".

I'm glad I'm not the only one...

Now that you mention it and I think about it, it bothers me enough that I'm still re-using the same coffee that I bought 5 years ago so I don't have to go through that again....:wacko:

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